No Surprise Here: Microsoft Strips DRM From Xbox One

They had to do something. Did they do enough?

What is Microsoft doing on that bike? Are they... are they going backwards?

Yes, they’re furiously pedaling with all their might to try and erase the awful mistakes made in the last few months, public relations snafus that exploded at the end of Sony’s E3 press conference, where even the most hardcore of XBox fanboys settled themselves into the idea of owning a PS4.

Through a humble press release, Interactive Entertainment Business President Don Mattrick states that due to the overwhelming feedback they have changed their stances. No longer will you need to connect to the Internet every 24 hours lest your console prevent you from even trying to play single player games. Besides a one-time setup you can play any disc game just as usual. Also, games can be lent and traded and sold with aplomb - no more limitations will be added to used games, and if you give a game to your friend they can stick it in their console and it will work. Basically, the Xbox One will function as a gaming console.

Some folks seem surprised by Microsoft’s change here but honestly, what else could they do? They were sunk if they didn’t do something, and it’s possible that their brand has already been harmed irrevocably by all of this bad publicity. Don’t forget - it’s still a hundred bucks more expensive and will still require the Kinect to be plugged in to work, so that you can yell “Xbox On!” a few times before it responds.

But that’s not to say that Xbox One is out of the game yet. They do have a handful of great exclusives: namely Titanfall, Dead Rising 3 and Sunset Overdrive, and the potential game-changing aspect of their 300,000 server cloud is something to keep an eye on. (Here’s a great article you should read about that.)

But with the exception of another Minecraft and What Lies Below (from Sword & Sworcery EP developers Capybara Games), indie game developers seem to have flocked to the PS4, most likely because they can self-publish there. Lorne Lanning, creator of Oddworld (a series that helped kick off the original Xbox!) won’t be bringing Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee New 'N' Tasty to Xbox One because they need a publisher to do so.

So Microsoft’s troubles aren’t over just yet, but the playing field has definitely been leveled a bit. The next few months before launch are going to be interesting indeed.